Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NY Jews of Seattle UNITE!

Today was my day, as a NY Jew transplanted to Seattle. I knew there were lots of us in this city but today I had my share of encounters with them. First off was my meeting with W.S., an architect who is pretty major in Seattle. He's on my thesis committee and I met with him to discuss. Of course, he is a NY Jew. If his name wasn't enough, his NY accent gave him away. So I felt like we had a good rapport. I of course mentioned that I am from NY too. Later in the day I went to a menorah lighting ceremony in Redmond Town Center. Perhaps if this had happened in downtown Seattle or Capital Hill, more people would have come, but it was Redmond, so only about 20-30 people gathered in the center of this swanky outdoor mall to hear a Chabad Lubavitch Cantor and Rabbi from the Eastside Torah Center sing the prayers. They handed out some lyrics for traditional hanukkah songs and I was glad I decided to go. Despite the cold, it was so ..warming to be able to stand there in the middle of white-people land USA singing Maohtzur and the Dreidel song with others. Some of the people didn't seem to be Jews at all, like the old Asian couple who stopped to participate while walking their dog., and the other Asian family with a small child who came to see what all the noise was about. I gave the little girl the tiny yellow dreidel the Lubavitch cantor had given me (he gave these out to everyone). I had to show her what it was and how to use it. The father thanked me before disappearing into the ether. I'm sure there must have been at least 1 other former New Yorker in this small crowd. It was so cool..I really must join Temple B'Nai Torah and become part of a congregation of reform jews again. I miss the songs, prayers and commaraderie. I also read that leading a spiritual lifestyle can prolong your life. I'll always be Jewish so I should embrace that. I also read recently that most of us Reform Jews identify as "cultural Jews" rather than religious..this is exactly how I have referred to myself for years.

The last NY Jew moment was when I was driving home from RTC. I turned on 107.7 the End and Matisyahu's song King Without a Crown was on..I love the song (and I am now hooked on his Live at Stubbs CD - go check it out, yo!!) so I was pleased. Then when I came back from QFC I turned the radio on again and there was Adam Sandler singing the Hanukkah Song Vol. 3. I love the "Harrison Ford's a 1/4 Jewish - Not Too Shabby!" part, the DJ got on the mic after the Sandler song and remarked on how it was the 3rd night of hanukkah, happy Chanukah to all us Chanukah observers out there and he said "I'm a NY Jew, so I'm right there with you all celebrating the 3rd night". I was like "YAY!!!!!" yeah. I really think that all us NY Jews in Seattle need to form a little club or an online community or something. We're out there - maybe there aren't many of us, but we're here and we're strong and we have made Seattle our new home.

Happy Hanukkah to all!

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